January first, 2014. A new year and we were among the first to experience it. Palau’s timezone is way ahead of Europe, and of Hawaii.
Palauan local time 7 am meant it was still 2013 back home. Strange.
Today, we were supposed to leave for a place called Choll, to pray over the land that has been donated to YWAM. Joshua 1:3 comes to mind though I personally believe God honors that way of thinking today mainly because of those that believe it (thus: faith), and not because there is an obligation for Him to fulfill to His children today the promise He gave to Joshua. Simply put: He’s being kind.
It was postponed with a day however, since we had to discuss the position of the families, and mostly the order of priorities. We felt we have had to challenge leadership about the necessity of our personal family-time over and over again, and after a discussion with the other families, were going to talk with them about what we thought was the root issue: priorities.
Are your priorities listed like this:
3. Extended family – Ohana
or are these listed in a different order, combined perhaps?
During lecture phase of the DTS we were introduced to the concept of ‘Ohana’, which stands for family, but for us – having a family of our own – it stands for extended family.
The concept of ‘Ohana’ carries different meanings, based on your experiences and current life situation. For most single students in our DTS, it makes sense to have priorities as follows:
But the reality for a family like ours is that we cannot simply pretend for 3 months that our family consists of all students, us, and children alike. It messes things up – who is father, mother, child.. we can pretend all dts students are brothers and sisters, but reality is there is physical attractions playing into this mix as well.
So spiritually speaking we are Ohana – family – but in the physical reality we have to be attentive and we cannot ignore different makeups, or that our family will be completely unaffected by the challenges and pretense: after outreach and DTS, we may even not ever see some of our Ohana until heaven.
So, most importantly: our family (meaning: our marriage and our children) have priority over anything, save our individual relationship with God. Sorry “anything”, but my marriage is my first ministry.
After people shared their feelings and positions, we left for Choll on the second of January. The group stayed in another ‘community house’, which was beautifully situated, but came with its own challenges: no water and lots of bugs (ideally, this works better if it is the other way around, haha).
Choll is at the northern part of the island, and it’s a 1,5 hour drive, which you can do in 40 minutes if you ignore speed limits. The speed limits are between 15 and 30 mph, so it’s easy to overlook those.
In theory of course.
YWAM has been donated a piece of land there, which stretches all the way to the ocean. We walked around and prayed.
It’s somewhat strange with a plot of land without a plan yet. It’s perfectly possible to remove the mangrove trees and make a beach. Have a dock for YWAM Ships to dock. Build some houses at the beach for counseling missionaries that have had a hard time. Decentralize University of the Nations more…
But without vision, there’s no way of planning, so this is all for the future.